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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 00-06-30

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Service Presse et Communicationb

30/06/2000


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Transeuropean Networks : Commission hails opening of Øresund bridge between Denmark and Sweden
  • [02] La Commission adopte une décision visant à enlever les matériels à risque spécifiés (agents de l'ESB) de la chaîne alimentaire humaine ou animale
  • [03] La Commission autorise l'entreprise commune entre Phillips et Chevron
  • [04] Commission clears the acquisition of Pearson TV by Bertelsmann and GBL
  • [05] La Commission autorise l'ENI à prendre une participation dans la société portugaise de pétrole et de gaz GALP
  • [06] Commission clears purchase of Land Rover by Ford
  • [07] Commission clears merger between Granada and Compass Group
  • [08] La Commission autorise la prise du contrôle commun de Stream par Telecom Italia et News Television
  • [09] David Byrne welcomes rapid political agreement in Council on tobacco products directive
  • [10] Euro-zone external trade surplus euro 1.1 billion in April 2000 ; euro 7.1 euro deficit for EU15
  • [11] Euro-zone labour costs up by 3.5% ; EU15 up by 4.0%
  • [12] Conférence IST (Technologies de la Société de l'Information) 2000 Nice
  • [13] International conference on WTO non-trade concerns in agriculture
  • [14] Conclusion of a Border Agreement between Saudi Arabia and Yemen

  • [01] Transeuropean Networks : Commission hails opening of Øresund bridge between Denmark and Sweden

    The Øresund fixed rail-road link between Denmark and Sweden will be officially inaugurated on 1st July 2000. This historic project has received euro 1 billion of support from the European Union. European Commission Vice- President Loyola de Palacio, who will be present at this opening, said : "The construction of the Øresund Link is one of the European engineering marvels of the 20th century. This bridge/tunnel link between Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmö in Sweden is one of the main building blocks in European infrastructure development."

    [02] La Commission adopte une décision visant à enlever les matériels à risque spécifiés (agents de l'ESB) de la chaîne alimentaire humaine ou animale

    La Commission européenne a adopté une décision aux termes de laquelle tous les Etats membres veillent à ce que les tissus animaux qui pourraient présenter un risque d'ESB soient enlevés de la chaîne alimentaire humaine ou animale. L'adoption finale de cette mesure essentielle de protection de la santé des consommateurs a été rendue possible grâce à une percée réalisée lors du Conseil agriculture du 19 juin, à l'occasion de laquelle une majorité d'Etats membres s'est prononcée en faveur de ces mesures. A compter du mois d'octobre, tous les abattoirs, les ateliers de découpe et les usines de traitement des déchets d'animaux dans l'ensemble de l'Union européenne devront appliquer de nouvelles règles harmonisées. Les importations de viande en provenance de pays tiers seront soumises à des exigences comparables à compter du 1er avril 2001, sauf si une évaluation scientifique indique que de telles mesures ne sont pas nécessaires.

    [03] La Commission autorise l'entreprise commune entre Phillips et Chevron

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'entreprise commune entre Phillips Petroleum Company (Phillips) et Chevron Corporation (Chevron), dans le cadre de laquelle les parties combineront presque toutes les participations qu'elles détiennent au niveau mondial dans le domaine de la chimie.

    [04] Commission clears the acquisition of Pearson TV by Bertelsmann and GBL

    The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of British television production company Pearson Television by Bertelsmann and Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL). Although all the companies involved direct or indirectly have interests in the television sector, the deal will not significantly reduce competition.

    [05] La Commission autorise l'ENI à prendre une participation dans la société portugaise de pétrole et de gaz GALP

    La Commission européenne a autorisé le groupe énergétique italien ENI à acheter à l'Etat portugais une participation minoritaire au sein de Petróleos e Gás de Portugal GALP. A l'issue de cette opération, GALP sera contrôlée par l'ENI et l'Etat portugais.

    [06] Commission clears purchase of Land Rover by Ford

    The European Commission has cleared Ford Motor Company's acquisition of British car company Land Rover from Germany's BMW. The deal poses no competition problems given Ford's small share in the British market for special utility four-wheel-drive passengers cars, or jeeps.

    [07] Commission clears merger between Granada and Compass Group

    The European Commission has approved the merger between Granada Group Plc and Compass Group Plc, both British. The companies' activities overlap in the supply of contract foodservice in Britain and Ireland and in concession foodservice in Britain where they will become market leader. But the Commission's review concluded to sufficient competition .

    [08] La Commission autorise la prise du contrôle commun de Stream par Telecom Italia et News Television

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'acquisition du contrôle commun de l'opérateur italien de télévision à péage Stream par la société italienne de télécommunication Telecom Italia et par News Television, une filiale de News Corp Ltd.

    [09] David Byrne welcomes rapid political agreement in Council on tobacco products directive

    European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection David Byrne has welcomed the political agreement reached yesterday by the Council of Health Ministers in Luxembourg on a proposal for a directive to harmonise the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products in the EU. The Council has continued the rapid progress in securing agreement on this key health protection measure since the Commission presented its proposal in November 99 and the European Parliament adopted its opinion on June 14. The Commission now looks forward to a speedy adoption of the proposal in the second stage reading.

    [10] Euro-zone external trade surplus euro 1.1 billion in April 2000 ; euro 7.1 euro deficit for EU15

    (! embargo 12 am !) Euro-zone trade with the rest of the world in April was a euro 1.1 billion surplus, compared with +4.8 billion in April 1999, according to Eurostat. The March surplus was confirmed at 2.5 billion, against +6.6 billion in March 1999. Euro-zone trade was in balance for the first four months of 2000, compared with a surplus of 16.5 billion in 1999. The first estimate for April extra-EU15 trade was a euro 7.1 billion deficit, compared with -1.0 billion in April 1999. In March there was a confirmed deficit at 3.4 billion, against a 0.9 billion surplus in March 1999. There was a deficit estimated at 29.7 billion in January-April 2000 compared with -7.5 billion in 1999.

    [11] Euro-zone labour costs up by 3.5% ; EU15 up by 4.0%

    (! embargo 12 am !) Total hourly labour costs in the whole economy of the euro-zone grew by 3.5% in nominal terms in the first quarter of 2000 compared to the same period the previous year, Eurostat reports today. In the fourth quarter of 1999 the increase was 2.4%. For EU15 the rise was 4.0%, compared to 3.0% in the previous quarter. Among countries for which data are available, the smallest annual rises were in Sweden (2.7%), followed by Finland (3.3%), and biggest in the United Kingdom (6.7%) and in Italy (4.3%). In industry, hourly labour costs in the euro-zone rose by 3.5% whilst for EU15 the increase was 3.6%. From the data available, the smallest increase was in Spain (2.3%) and the biggest was in the United Kingdom (4.5%).

    [12] Conférence IST (Technologies de la Société de l'Information) 2000 Nice

    Du 6 au 8 novembre 2000, des décideurs et spécialistes des nouvelles technologies de l'information se réuniront à Nice à l'occasion de la Conférence IST, placée cette année sous le signe d'une Société de l'Information pour tous. IST 2000 s'inscrit dans la lignée de l'initiative eEurope de la Commission européenne. Cet événement est organisé par la Direction générale Société de l'Information de la Commission, en étroite collaboration avec le Ministère français de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Industrie et le Ministère de la Recherche.

    [13] International conference on WTO non-trade concerns in agriculture

    On the invitation of the European Commission and the governments of Japan, Mauritius, Norway, Republic of Korea and Switzerland an international conference on non-trade concerns in agriculture will be held in Ullensvang, Norway, from Saturday 1 July to Tuesday 4 July 2000. A number of developing and developed countries are worried that important and legitimate non-trade concerns (NTCs), such as domestic agriculture's contribution to rural development and to food security, will not receive adequate treatment in the ongoing WTO negotiations in agriculture. Therefore, this conference aims at elaborating a common ground of concepts and principles relating to NTCs and WTO trade policy reform. The broad objective of this conference is to provide a forum for discussion between countries on NTCs, which are relevant to the policy objectives of all countries. This would have in mind the need to ensure a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system and equitable sharing of commitments.

    [14] Conclusion of a Border Agreement between Saudi Arabia and Yemen

    The European Commission welcomes the recent signing and ratification of a border accord between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Yemen. This should mark the end of a long dispute over the boundary demarcation and signals a new era in relations between the two largest countries on the Arabian Peninsula. It is particularly welcomed that this dispute has been resolved by peaceful means through bilateral discussions and negotiations. In this, the Governments of Saudi Arabia and Yemen have set a positive example for the region. The European Union hopes that the resolution of the border problem will facilitate the regular movement of citizens and goods across the border and opens the way to increased exchange and closer cooperation between Saudi-Arabia and Yemen. This will benefit not only the people of these two countries but the region as a whole and in particular increase the potential for regional economic cooperation,development and growth.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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